Anyone who s seen a person use HTC s Vive virtual reality headset will know that it is a solo experience, and one that you ll want to keep your distance from.Jukin MediaYou see HTC s headset doesn t just let you look around a virtual world, it lets you walk around it, touch it and in some instances punch it.So it was a hard truth that this man learnt first hand when his colleague proceeded to engage in what we can only assume was a particularly vigorous VR game.Sadly neither he, nor his colleague were aware that HTC s headset comes with a range of safety features which warn the user that they re about to thwack someone rather heavily round the head.Ignorant of these features she did indeed then proceed to thwack him, his innocent head clearly obstructing the intended virtual target.Just like hoverboards, Google Glass and the Smart Car before it, virtual reality has passed the innovative technology test by making sure you look like a complete idiot while using it.
Google I/O 2016 Google has been using its developers conference to show off forthcoming improvements in Android N and is taking the unusual move of asking the public to name it.But Android is also getting a new JIT compiler that Burke claimed is 75 per cent faster at booting apps and compresses code down to 50 per cent of its current size.When a user pulls down from the top of the screen to access things like turning WiFi or location data on and off, the five most-used notification tabs will be displayed at the top of the screen and users will be able to customize the whole page.This allows a user to click on a link to a site that has its own app and just download a few parts of the software to help the link run more smoothly and with more features, but without installing the full code.Android N will also introduce file-level encryption for individual chunks of data, to work in tandem with the existing phone encryption systems.The future of VR and WearGoogle has been expected to make a virtual reality announcement and Clay Bavor, the firm's VP of VR, said that Android N had been built with the virtual world in mind.
Google currently offers a cardboard smartphone holder that acts as a low-tech headset but offers a less-than-realistic virtual world.On Thursday, it said it will soon start selling a plastic headset in which consumers will insert their smartphones and a controller that serves as a virtual hand.Google for instance announced it will start offering YouTube videos for virtual reality and has partnered with news organizations, such as the New York Times, to try to bring readers into stories.Indeed, some of the most popular apps for Facebook s Oculus Rift headset allow people to step into the shoes of an American football quarterback or star basketball player.He then showed how people could build their own virtual drum kits they could play with virtual sticks before throwing the virtual drums across the virtual practice room.asked Mike Podwal, product manager for Google s cardboard VR headset.
We ll Train Them Like DogsJason Tanz WIRED"Whether you re a member of the coding elite or someone who barely feels competent to futz with the settings on your phone—don t get used to it.Our machines are starting to speak a different language now, one that even the best coders can t fully understand...The neural network s operations are largely opaque and inscrutable.Drew Endy and Laurie Zoloth Cosmos Magazine"In a world where human reproduction has already become a competitive marketplace, with eggs, sperm and embryos carrying a price, it is easy to make up far stranger uses of human genome synthesis capacities...Given that human genome synthesis is a technology that can completely redefine the core of what now joins all of humanity together as a species, we argue that discussions of making such capacities real, like today s Harvard conference, should not take place without open and advance consideration of whether it is morally right to proceed."This development raises uncomfortable—and increasingly nontheoretical—questions: If moral responsibility depends on faith in our own agency, then as belief in determinism spreads, will we become morally irresponsible?And if we increasingly see belief in free will as a delusion, what will happen to all those institutions that are based on it?"It s acceleration that produces nausea.
7/10Incredible virtual worlds, convincing sense of physical immersion, freedom of movementExpensive, requires a powerful PC to run, convoluted installation processHTC Vive promises the best option for virtual reality – but with a high price, power-hungry processing needs and confusing set-up needs, can it live up to its own hype?good?"The answer will depend on who's asking, particularly in the case of HTC Vive.Some will map them as four-button controllers, making use of the clickable functionality, while others rely on the capacitive touch control.There's a moment in The Lab – Valve's free starter pack of eight short VR games, set in Portal's Aperture Science facilities – that hammers this home.You'll start off merely pointing and shooting, but you're soon crawling into strange shapes around your living room as you swerve to avoid enemy fire.
Not that it feels strange to suddenly moved to a different location, but because it feels so natural. Why is the resolution so bad that I can not see what is on the sign over there? The biological limitations appear suddenly difficult to distinguish from technology. Even Plato, the Greek philosopher, was interested in how our senses corresponds to reality. In the 1600s, stated René Descartes that he could not possibly know about what he experienced was reality or just a dream created by an evil spirit. We have taken major steps towards creating lifelike vr just the past few years, and according to Bostrom's logic are the odds that we already live in a virtual world thus declined significantly.
Whether for remote-LAN gaming, or just playing something outside of VR without taking the headset off, one drawback was a lack of motion controller support, but that s been fixed with the latest update.Now if you head into BigPicture mode with the Beta 0.2.0 version installed, you ll be able to wave your Vive wand controller around as if it s a mouse pointer.That means that if your game doesn t require keyboard input of any kind, you can likely play it without sitting at your desk at all.On top of that, the Vive controllers also introduce some extras to the BigPicture experience, like a laser pointer you can control with the wands and use to point to different areas of the virtual world to highlight them for your VR guests.You can also use it with the Steam virtual keyboard for keyboard-free text chat.There s also new support for 3D, side-by-side, and over-under video, as well as offline mode, and the ability to see other players as silhouettes in other rooms so you know where everyone is.
Following its launch earlier this year, it seemed that Miitomo found immediate success, shooting to the top of both the iOS and Android app stores.But more recent findings show that Miitomo is struggling to retain those users, who are now abandoning the app in droves.According to data from a SurveyMonkey Intelligence report, more than half of the users who play Miitomo on a given week don t come back to play it the next week.Candy Crush Saga has 23 percent churn, as another point of comparison.With Miitomo, Nintendo may have largely wanted to get users to create Nintendo accounts, then willingly share their personal data as part of a larger effort in building up a database of social profiles that will come into play in the future.And if these latter launches also fail to keep users engaged, Nintendo s brand could lose some of its cachet as it transitions to smartphone gaming.
Early iterations will likely look amateurish in just a few years but right now, it s all we ve got.And what we ve got is a serious issue as it relates to powering these VR experiences.What that means is that you re tethered to a desktop which of course, limits movement in the virtual world.I suppose one could strap a high-end gaming laptop to their back… which is kind of what HP and MSI are proposing with their latest creations.More of a proof-of-concept at this stage, the Ghostbusters-style pack tentatively known as the HP Omen X VR PC Pack is essentially a gaming PC in a backpack form factor.HP plans to publicly demo the concept sometime within the next month likely at Computex with MSI confirming that it will indeed be at Computex.
Years before Google and Oculus started daydreaming about virtual reality, Apple already had a VR product on the market.Apple called it QuickTime Virtual Reality, or QuickTime VR.It's one of the strangest projects in Apple history: started during the years when Steve Jobs was busy with NeXT, it was ahead of the tech industry by decades but was unloved in its later years, and eventually was wound down."At the time it seemed pretty amazing.Calling it VR was controversial and somewhat presumptuous," O'Sullivan continued.In a way, the composition aspects of immersive panoramas haven't changed a whole lot since the early 1990s — it's just easier to do these days.Ultimately, it's not that surprising that Apple would take a shot at virtual reality — even in a rudimentary form — years before the public was ready to catch on.
What happens when 12 million people are provided with an almost unlimited variety of immersive virtual environments where they can explore, create, and learn with their friends?For decades, science fiction authors have conjured visions of the Metaverse — a virtual world where people share experiences together under the guise of a photo-realistic simulation.People have been turning to technology for thousands of years to help communicate and share stories.A progression of increasingly high-fidelity storytelling technology has brought us oil paintings, books, movies, TV, and 3D movies.Industries will expand to support new cameras, projectors, VR viewing technology, and distribution.We don t find many games that support let s play tag or let s sit in the audience of a fashion show.
Advertisers need an audience. And Minecraft, the world s best-selling computer game, certainly has one.But the virtual world of Minecraft is now officially off-limits to advertisers.To rein in advertisers and corporations looking to capitalize on its large playerbase, Minecraft-maker Mojang announced in a blog post on Tuesday that it will no longer allow the promotion of unrelated products or causes within the confines of its virtual world.Out of a concern for control and user enjoyment, the updated policy bans ad agencies, corporations, non-profits and politicians from building marketing material in Minecraft. The blog post offered examples of the limitations: restaurants are restricted from releasing mods, or game modifications, that include their restaurant built out of Minecraft blocks" and movie studios are restricted from building the fictional world of the movie or its characters or creating an official movie trailer out of gameplay footage. Regular players are still free to recreate their favorite restaurants or movie characters, as long as their intention isn t to monetize or promote products or ideas through virtual representation. We want to empower our community to make money from their creativity, but we re not happy when the selling of an unrelated product becomes the purpose of a Minecraft mod or server, the blog post said.  
An MSI employee demonstrates the company's Backpack PC during a demonstration at the Computex show in Taipei on June 1, 2016.Current VR games run on a computer that sits on a desk or floor and stubbornly won't move as you jump around in a virtual world.At Computex, I had two MSI employees help me put it on, but it's not the kind of thing you really need help with once you know what you're doing.Helped by the rich graphics that are the result of using a high-power gaming laptop and the HTC Vive headset, it was easy to forget about all the gear I was wearing -- even if I couldn't forget the walls and desks around me.If the image is good enough and the content engaging enough to allow you to immerse yourself, then the rest of it doesn't matter too much.An MSI employee told me the specifications and design are likely to change -- this isn't the final commercial version -- so the company isn't saying anything more about when or where it will launch or how much it will cost.
Current VR games run on a computer that sits on a desk or floor and stubbornly won t move as you jump around in a virtual world.At Computex, I had two MSI employees help me put it on, but it s not the kind of thing you really need help with once you know what you re doing.Martyn Williams MSI s Backpack PC during a demonstration at the Computex trade show in Taipei on June 1, 2016.Helped by the rich graphics that are the result of using a high-power gaming laptop and the HTC Vive headset, it was easy to forget about all the gear I was wearing—even if I couldn t forget the walls and desks around me.If the image is good enough and the content engaging enough to allow you to immerse yourself, then the rest of it doesn t matter too much.An MSI employee told me the specifications and design are likely to change—this isn t the final commercial version—so the company isn t saying anything more about when or where it will launch or how much it will cost.
This means that Windows Holographic won't be limited to Microsoft's own HoloLens, and any firm will be able to access it to realize mixed reality experiences on their own hardware – mixed reality broadly speaking being the combination of virtual reality and the real world, which allows for the overlay of VR objects onto real environments.That's quite different to a purely virtual world, of course, and allows for clever tricks such as being able to see your actual physical hands as you manipulate a virtual object.All shapes and sizesIn a blog post, Microsoft said that: "Windows Holographic is coming to devices of all shapes and sizes from fully immersive virtual reality to fully untethered holographic computing."The company noted it has been talking to device manufacturers and chip firms including Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, HTC, Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, MSI and others.This is still early days of course, but it should mean the development of a good deal more pieces of hardware in the VR/mixed reality sphere.As Microsoft points out, the market for virtual reality is expected to be selling some 80 million devices per year by the close of the decade.
IMVU, the social network with 3D animated avatars, said that it has provided the technology behind a new version of the popular Kimoji paid app created by Kim Kardashian West.Redwood City, Calif.-based IMVU operates a social network where users can create their own animated spaces.Kanye and I found this amazing social experience company, IMVU, and worked with them on creating some of our latest Kimoji designs and GIFs.They re such innovators who have helped me really set Kimoji apart, Kardashian wrote on her site.The technology enables personalization of 2D, 3D, and virtual reality VR content, allowing users to express themselves as they wish.With our Server Side Rendering technology, and with our catalog of 20 million-plus user-generated 2D, 3D, and VR-ready products, we are redefining the way people communicate universally, said Brett Durrett, CEO of IMVU, in a statement.Our technology makes it possible for all users to easily create an infinite amount of highly expressive content starring their customized avatar.IMVU was founded in 2004 as part of the virtual world craze, but it s interesting to see how it continues to morph and exploit its technology over time.iOS users can send their customized 3D Stickers in messaging apps, including Facebook Messenger, iMessage, and Gmail; both Android and iOS users can create and send 3D Stickers within IMVU conversations.
Microsoft is talking about some aspects of the future of computing at Computex 2016 and one of those future aspects that the software giant is focusing on is mixed reality.Mixed reality is a sort of interaction of virtual reality with the physical world to create virtual spaces and objects that users can manipulate with their hands.Microsoft also notes that most of these devices lack the ability to mix real people, objects, and environments into the virtual world they show wearers.This is where developers come in with Windows Holographic, which is coming to devices of all shapes and sizes to create immersive VR and untethered holographic computing.Microsoft has invited OEM, ODM, and hardware partners to build PCs, display, accessories, and mixed reality devices based on the Windows Holographic platform.Windows Holographic is already powering the Microsoft HoloLens and offers a holographic shell, interaction model, perception APIs and Xbox Live services.
Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty ImagesMicrosoft declared its Windows 10 operating system was the best place for "mixed reality" computing at the Computex IT trade show in Taiwan on Wednesday.According to CCS Insight, a mixed reality headset would place virtual objects in the real world and allow users to interact with them through gestures and voice commands.At the keynote speech on Wednesday, several Microsoft executives promoted Windows Holographic, a computer operating system which could help lead the way in mixed reality technology."Today we focused on the next frontier – mixed reality."The main difference between the two technologies is that virtual reality is fully immersive and you are not particularly aware of the real world around you," he says.Mixed reality solutions using Hololens lend themselves much more to this market opportunity than virtual reality, which will initially be driven by more consumer-centric applications such as games."
"Dinosaurs and grandmothers, two species separated by 65 million years of evolution have just been suddenly thrown back into the mix together.Over the last couple of years, we ve seen plenty of entertaining videos chronicling people s first steps into a virtual world, but few of them come close to this.This Northern Irish women seemed genuinely afraid for her life after being exposed to Jurassic Park VR by her grandchildren.See also: Samsung Gear VR reviewYou can see her priceless transportation to prehistoric times in the video below via Mashable .If you want to give your elderly grandparents a heart attack this weekend, Jurassic World Apatosaurus is available for Samsung Gear VR owners to download from the Oculus Store.comments powered by Disqus
Virtual reality is out in the wild now, with headsets launched by Samsung, Oculus, and HTC.But one of the frontiers that is still unfolding is user-generated content in VR.Minecraft has launched in VR, and so have a number of 360-degree VR cameras.But one of the frontiers still to be explored is user-generated content for VR games.VR is going to need this kind of content if it aims to hit expectations of a $30 billion market by 2020 based on Digi-Capital estimates .Our next speaker for our GamesBeat 2016 event is David Baszucki, the founder, co-creator, and CEO of Roblox, which is like a virtual world made from Lego-like blocks where players can build anything and even create their own games.A pioneer in pushing the boundaries of the imagination, Baszucki has helped champion millions of young and up-and-coming developers in the video game industry via the Roblox platform.